Small Cheap Chinese Laser

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Review by RootandBranch posted 05-20-2016 08:21 PM 3579 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Small Cheap Chinese Laser Small Cheap Chinese Laser Small Cheap Chinese Laser Click the pictures to enlarge them

Gave this 4 stars since it’s almost exactly what I expected going in. Cheap, small scale and does a decent job so far for what it is.

Playing with a laser. What could possibly go wrong?

This gizmo is a mini 500mW engraver. Blue and purple beam, proprietary drag and drop software, 2 axis movement with a burn area of about one and a half inches square. It’s small but scaling up in laser capability increases the cost by a bunch. When you get up to Death Star wattage; well then, you tend to bankrupt the Empire, get the attention of ratty rebels, and then some borderline incestuous, whiney punk with half decent magical skills shoots a torpedo down your exhaust port, really ruining your day.


Can engrave hardwood, plastic, bamboo, rubber, leather, skin and similar materials. I purchased it to do small engravings on boxes and pens. The learning curve is steep since the instructions for it are either roughly translated from Chinese by someone who doesn’t know English much good, or a video by a guy who’s 4th language is English that he learned from the guy who wrote the instructions. But between the two and a little trial and error, I’ve figured out the capabilities and limits of both the machine and the operator.

The hard part is dialing in the beam on an uneven surface. For a pen barrel, you have to settle for the top of the cylinder and accept some fade on the downward curves or narrow up your burn. The blue focus beam is still pretty hot hence the reference to “skin” above. It comes with a pair of really super dark safety glasses. Can’t hardly see the adjustment knob with the glasses on and taking them off means you’re seeing some spots for a while from the blue focus beam. That can’t be good for you. I have this inside the house and it doesn’t stink up the place burning most woods. Oily exotics can smell like you set fire to old French fries.

Pics are a pen made from bamboo and a small piece of maple with the Serenity Prayer. Time will tell how long it lasts. All in all, for what it is and what I plan to use it for, I’d rate it 7/10. Would eat here again.

-- Don, -

View RootandBranch's profile


241 posts in 1882 days

10 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2833 posts in 1841 days

#1 posted 05-20-2016 09:22 PM

A very well-written review, indeed, Don. Except that you failed miserably in including the information the tingling minions need to look deeper into the device. Mebees a link to a website.

-- Mark

View RootandBranch's profile


241 posts in 1882 days

#2 posted 05-20-2016 10:06 PM

My bad. And it ain’t me unless there’s at least one miserable failure involved.

You’re ordering from China so don’t expect it to arrive quickly. Company send’s progress on order and shipping in Chinese. Google translate struggled with it. Wasn’t sure if homeland security was coming for a visit or I had a Panda in quarantine.

-- Don, -

View Fallon's profile


96 posts in 3906 days

#3 posted 05-21-2016 03:46 AM

And under $90, not to bad. Interesting…

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4103 posts in 3887 days

#4 posted 05-22-2016 03:19 AM

Under $90 US might make it worthwhile, even if you only managed to mark your tools before it went TU. I have tens of thousands of $US worth of tools, so it is likely worth the money. How small can it make a legible character? I’m thinking I need a 6 pt font for the small diameters of my carving tools. No, you may not have my address.

OK, viewed website. Doesn’t include metal. No surprise, there. Too reflective.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View johnstoneb's profile


3145 posts in 2950 days

#5 posted 05-23-2016 01:28 PM

Thanks for the review and link. At that price it might be a good machine to learn on then you would know what to look for if you wanted to upgrade.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View cmmyakman's profile


286 posts in 3434 days

#6 posted 05-26-2016 06:11 PM

You convinced me – thanks for the review.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View 53rdcard's profile


21 posts in 3644 days

#7 posted 05-29-2016 05:26 PM

could you use it on a larger area if you moved the material, so instead of doing it all in one go, you move the material and make as many steps as you need, allowing you to make much larger engravings?

And can it do designs or just text?

View RootandBranch's profile


241 posts in 1882 days

#8 posted 05-30-2016 01:36 AM


You could conceivably do a piece larger. The inner frame of the device that holds all the works is about 5×5 inches. The software accepts any bitmap in black and white. The text would need to be converted to a bitmap and the limits are an image 500×500 pixels. The problem if you had a larger piece and artwork would be alignment. I tried to do a piece that was bigger than the 1.5 inch square burn area by moving my stock to accept the other half of the larger image and I couldn’t get it aligned.

This is what it is and I’m using it within those limits. Thanks

-- Don, -

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 3220 days

#9 posted 05-30-2016 02:09 AM

Thanks for the review. The link is currently showing $79.99. May need to try this out.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View sammie928s's profile


1 post in 352 days

#10 posted 07-27-2019 05:22 AM

Thanks for the review. Looks like it does a decent job for the price. My son is going to jump onto the laser engraving bandwagon so I was thinking maybe one like this would be okay to get him going. I have heard about the k40 laser cutter, which is a fairly cheap laser cutter which I can get for around $300. Has anyone had any experience with this machine?

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